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Summer Guide 2014

Beach reads

All the books we're looking forward to getting sandy this summer

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The book publishing industry may be in freefall, but they still know how to stack a summer with beach-tote-worthy books. You know what we mean: the kind of book that’s not too heavy, either in subject matter or actual mass. We’re getting lucky in summer 2014, which brings highly anticipated new works from lit-fic darlings Joshua Ferris, Tom Rachman and Stacey D’Erasmo; English translations from overseas heavy hitters Herman Koch, Jean-Patrick Manchette and Haruki Murakami; debuts from newcomers Edan Lepucki, Ursula DeYoung and Lauren Owen ­— and even another short story collection looking at Orlando from our own Burrow Press. So here’s a round dozen summer books — enough to have a new candidate every weekend to accompany you, your sunscreen and your flip-flops to the shore.

Wonderland
by Stacey D’Erasmo (available now)
There aren’t many novels based on female indie rockers over the age of 30 – well, actually, Kate Christensen’s Trouble and William Gibson’s Spook Country come to mind, but I digress. Perhaps I should say, there aren’t many of those novels written by authors with the serious chops and well-deserved literary cred of Stacey D’Erasmo. This is the fourth novel from the former alt-weekly editor (hey), and her most emotionally immediate.

The Essential Ellen Willis
edited by Nona Willis Aronowitz (available now)
And speaking of women who rock, none rocked harder than 1970s rock critic Ellen Willis, who’s often described as “the female Lester Bangs.” If Out of the Vinyl Deeps, the 2011 compilation of her best music criticism, only whetted your appetite, here comes a collection of her writing on other topics, equally incandescent and inflammatory.

To Rise Again at a Decent Hour
by Joshua Ferris (available now)
As evinced in his debut, Then We Came to the End, Joshua Ferris has the knack of examining the horrors of daily life – the existential dread induced by sitting in a cubicle farm, the Sisyphean labors of tending to the eternally refilling email inbox – and yet somehow making a reader feel, well, OK about it all. In this novel, Ferris takes on the summeriffic sport of baseball, which, speaking of unending existential dread … (What we’re saying is that baseball games are very long.)

Forget How You Found Us: 15 Views of Orlando, Volume 3
various authors (available June 1)
Burrow Press editor Nathan Holic brings out another volume of 15 Views of Orlando, this time with a YA spin. The sequence of stories covers Lake Nona, the downtown public library, Greenwood Cemetery, the Coalition for the Homeless and the Kerouac House, all from the viewpoint of local high-schoolers. Sounds like erstwhile Orlandoan John Green (The Fault in Our Stars) has a little local competish.

Summer House With Swimming Pool
by Herman Koch (available June 3)
Translated from the Dutch original by Sam Garrett (as was Koch’s 2013 best-seller, The Dinner), Summer House is already being spoken of in the same terms as Dinner: blistering, nightmarish, pitch-dark. Herman Koch has been compared to American Psycho-vintage Bret Easton Ellis, and this novel of a cynical Dr. Feelgood and an escalating series of marital tiffs promises to meet our beach-book requirements: nasty, brutish and short.

Summer Guide 2014
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